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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Back Velvet in that little girls smile...

You know the sultry song.  :)

I can't help but sing it today because I made a Black Velvet parky ("parka" for those of you non-northern-alaskans) for my littlest girl last night.  Not that she's very little.  Five feet tall and all.

Anyway, I haven't sewn stretchy velvet in a while.  And I forgot how much I hated it.  Stretches, and bends and goes crooked whenever it feels like it.  But it is so beautiful to look at.  And the icing on the cake?  This velvet was sent to me by a lovely blog reader.  Hey Brit!!!  Thanks.  Looks awesome!  She had a stash of fabric and findings that she didn't need and was awesome enough to send it to me.  Free Black Velvet is the best!

This particular one also was made with Arctic Fox fur which is a serious witch to sew with.  If you're not sneezy before you start, you'll definitely be sneezy afterwards!  And the hair.  It's worse than my yellow lab shedding all over!  But you know what?  The finished fox ruff and trim is so beautiful that it fully makes up for the itchy scratchies!

We got this particular parky from Kaisa's other family.  They had a girls parky that was too small and needed some repairs.  So the lining and fox ruff are the same as before, so the time to make it wasn't as long as it would usually take.  I'm so glad they thought of her for it!  It's super cute.

The other trim is an Arctic Fox that Dean had caught outside Sisualik and we home tanned (in the washer!) so it's a little thinner then the other one.  

Luckily, I only broke two skin sewing needles making this thing.  I only poked myself once bad enough to bleed a bit.  So based on that alone, this was EASY to make!  

(PS My mom's still trying to take as many photos of me as possible, because she's convinced that I don't take any!  Even though I do...)

So, now I need to make one for my niece, cause these girls have to match!  They're 2 years apart, and the best of friends, hopefully forever!  And they need to match.  :)

I love it.  And she's pretty cute, if I do say so myself.  Perfect little eskimo girl in her parky!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Easiest Cinnamon Rolls, EVER

Nothing too exciting has been happening at our household, unless you count a wood gathering trip last weekend, and a trip to the city for the Beer and Barleywine Festival.  :)

Mostly, we just go home, sew, bake and be merry.  Every Saturday I make cinnamon rolls.  Really good, really easy cinnamon rolls.

And plenty of people have asked for the recipe.  If you're my facebook friend, then chances are I've shared it with you already. 

If you're just my blog friend, then lucky you!  I'll share it with you today!

Makes 12 HUGE GINORMOUS ROLLS!  (seriously, a pampered chef 15" x 10" makes only 12 of these).  I wish I could remember where I found these, Pinterest maybe?  I don't know, we fiddled with the original recipe and have decided that this one is the best...

Cinnamon Rolls

1 3/4 C Warmish Water
1/2 C Sugar
1/4 C Oil
3 TBS or 3 packets Yeast

Mix and let sit for about 10-15 min. It'll become super yeasty and bubbly.

Add to it:
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
5-6 cups of flour.  Start with 5, and go from there.

Knead for about 10 min.  If you have a kitchenaide, just fit the dough hook in and mix for about 5-6 min.  Remove from bowl and let sit in an oiled bowl for 10-15 min until doubled.

Remove from bowl and place on an oiled counter.  Using your hands, make your dough into a rectangle roughly 14" x 18" or so.  Spread with the following:

1/4 C melted butter
1/2 C Brown Sugar
(If you like, you can add nuts, and raisins, etc. here as well)

Roll up tight lengthwise.  Using Dental Floss, (wrap under roll, cross the floss over each other on the top and pull outward, the floss will cut the dough perfectly) cut the roll in half.
Then cut the half in half, and cut the quarter dough into thirds.  Using a large baking pan (at least 15" x 10") that's well oiled, place the dough onto the pan in four rows of three.

Let rolls rise for about 15-20 minutes.  Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until browned on top and bottom.  Slather with butter when you remove them from the oven.

These are seriously huge and seriously GOOD!

NOW... if you're a serious sugar fanatic, you can frost them too.

Mix together in a bowl:

1/4 C room temperature butter
1/4 C room temperature Cream Cheese
2 tsp vanilla
a shot of Brewed espresso
a dash of salt
1/2 C Carnation Milk (room temp!)
And enough Powdered Sugar to make into a frosting, or a glaze, whichever you prefer.

Monday, January 7, 2013


I always hear from people, "There's nothing for kids to do here."  I agree, to a point.  I agree that there is no organized place for youth and pre-teens and teens to go to in the evenings, like when we were younger.  But.  There is always a but.

But there are are a few parents here that find things for their kids to do.  Luckily, I know several of those parents.  And we all have kids the same age, who love to play out.

 A parent came over to pick up their daughter one day from our house, and said they were going to look for a place to skate in town.  Thankfully, we already had a perfect place, within walking distance from our house that we've been using for several years. 

A nice little pond that freezes quickly and thoroughly right across the street.  

We have several sets of ice skates, and the other family had a garbage bin AND tote full of various sizes, so all that needed to happen, was a shovel to the ice, and our makeshift skating rink was ready.

You may be wondering why an Arctic village does not already have an outdoor skate rink, but you can question the City for that.  The same City that promises to provide things for kids to do.  Until then, we will shovel the ice when it snows and enjoy the couple of hours of daylight we have on the ice.

We don't have a place to buy skates from, but if you have some you'd like to get rid of, we frequently have less skates then we do kids.  Especially little ones!  If you want to send them to us, we will gladly keep them in a rubbermaid tote and let the kids use them this winter.  :)  email me at finnskimo at gmail dot com if you have some you'd like to share! 

When we get more snow, we are going to start cross country skiing too. 

Happy Winter Dance.

Friday, January 4, 2013

2012 Reading List

I like books.  I like to read.  A lot.

I read at least one book per week.  I always wanted to write them all down in a year and see how many I actually did read, but I never remember to do that.

Thankfully though, I have a rough estimate now!  Thanks to "Manage your Kindle" on Amazon.  In Kindle Books alone for 2012 these are the books I read:

The Hunger Games
Mocking Jay
Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins
Two for the Dough
Three to Get Deadly –
Four to Score – Janet Evanovich
Organized Simplicity -
Legend – Marie Lu
Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades Darker
Fifty Shades Freed – EL James
The Marriage Bargain – dumb.
Insurgent – Veronica Roth
Fire - Kristin Cashore
Under the Never Sky – Veronica Rossi
The Pledge – Kimberly Derting
The girl of Fire and Thorns – Rae Carson
Into the Shadows
Darkness Rising – Karly Kirkpatrick
Eve – Anna Carey
Secrets Exposed - ?
Last Romanov – Dora Mossanen
Extra Innings – Bruce Spitzer
Song of the Summer King – Jess Owen
Unfurl – Cidney Swanson
Out of Time – Monique Martin
Carrots – Colleen Helme
Summer Wishes
Shattered – Kailin Gow
Saving Mars – Cidney Swanson
Resurrection – AM Hargrove
After Eden
Beloved Purgatory – Katherine Pine
Touched – Allegra Skye
Matched – Ally Condie
Thorns – Kate Avery Ellison
Fever – Kailin Gow

In addition to these books, I re-read classics all the time.  Through the Looking Glass, Anna Karenina,  As the Waltz was Ending, Treasure Island, etc.  And if I like a book, I'll re-read it several times as well.  I read the Hunger Games series a few times.  I re-read the Fifty Shades trilogy just to see if there was anything different.  There wasn't.  But my husband didn't mind me re-reading THAT series!  

These books don't include the hardbacks I read, and I really did try to keep the ones I read next to my bed, but there was such a pile that I finally just put them in a box.  I do remember a few, "Sing Me Home" by Jodi Picoult, the Bible, and The Alchemist.  

If you can't tell, I am currently in LOOOOVE with Young Adult Dystopian Novels.  I kid you not, I always compare my life growing up at a fish camp to the "outdoorsy" post-apocalyptic era of these books.  I'm always thinking, "Oh, I'D SURVIVE..." haha.   My favorite has to be Divergent, and Insurgent.  I don't know why.  But I really liked those two. 

Anyway, here's to a great 2013 of reading.  (And crafting.  baking.  sewing.)  

What's on your current book list? 

P.S.  Yes, I bought some of these.  BUT... Pixel of Ink (look them up on Facebook) is a great place to grab tons of free books.  They offer 3 or 4 free books every day to download onto your kindle.  And I'm also an Amazon Prime member, so we get ONE free borrowed book per month.  One, hahaha.  One book a month.  That's encouraging reading...  haha.


Thursday, January 3, 2013


I saw a great tip about using the word "Resoloution" to help you with your, you know... resolutions. 

So I thought I'd give it a try...

R - Respect myself more.  I mean, I totally respect myself, but sometimes I'm easily guilted into doing things for other people even when I'm dead tired, or sick, or just really need to sit down with a glass of wine and my kindle.  Respect the "No."  :)

E - Evolve my mothering skillz.  Yes, I used a Z in that.  You have to say it like this..." Skeeeellllzzz" with a mustache and whipped cream.  I need to check my attitude at the door man.  Leave work at work.  My oldest child is 16 years old, a junior in High School and he's getting ready to leave momma.  I won't be able to force him to make the right choices anymore, so hopefully I can evolve a bit to help him.  And the other three coming along as well.  (YIKES!  Two freshman next year, AND a fifth grader, I need a  baby.)

S - I have a great "S" word that my husband would love, but I'm going to just say, "Smile" more.  If you know me, I'm smiley.  I like my teeth.  But in the face of adversity I get this weird angry eyebrow thing going.  I think people may be scared of me.  Oops.  I resolve to Smile when I get angry.  At least it'll make me laugh at myself and help quell my inner anger.

O - Organize my life.  I am probably the most unorganized organized person you'll ever know.  For real man.  I have piles of fabric and fur and craft supplies that scatter and clutter every corner of our entire house.  Only I know where that green leather is to match the white fox fur in a bag in Koy's closet.  I need to desperately to organize my stuff.  Then my food.  Then my work.  In that order! 
L - Laugh more.  Angry frown lines, NO.  Laugh lines, OK!  For the past week and a half my son has been babysitting a 5 and 3 year old while they're on break from school.  They laugh and laugh and laugh at the most random things.  "The Dog Ran Up To Me!"  giggle, laugh, giggle!  etc.  I want to laugh more.

U - Unwind at the end of the day.  With wine.  :)  Perfect.  Or wait, not perfect but I can do that! I can also unwind in the Sauna that my husband built for us behind our house.  (Sauna plug!)  It's lined with red cedar, and has a traditional wood stove with lava rock (we use river rock in our camp Sauna) to hold heat.  It's blissfully awesome in there.  Wine and a Sauna?!  Maybe not, but definitely a Sauna.

T - Take time.  This could be for everything.  I tend to rush through everything.  Rush, rush, rush.  Stress, stress, stress.  Rush some more.  Hurry up I'm late!  I just want to take time to get up, take a shower longer than 6 minutes, maybe even fix my hair once and a while.  Spend time sewing by hand, answering questions, etc.  Take time to play games with my kids.  Geez.  I feel all emotional now.

I - Inspire people.  I wonder if I inspire people.  I'd like to think I do.  But that could just be my ego talking.  (Speaking of "ego."  When I was in the 8th grade I lost the spelling bee to a girl from Kiana and that was the word I lost on!  Now she happens to be my best friend.  Off subject but cool.)  I want to allow people to see this town for it's beauty, familiarity, and uniqueness that it is.  Also I want people to be able to make their own fur hat!  :)

O - Observe nature.  I'm an outdoorsy gal.  I looooove me some nature.  Especially up here where it's abundant.  My life is so fast paced all the time I just hope to slow down.  HEY...maybe that should have been my "S" word!  Yes, I think watching the caribou cross the river would be grand.  

N - Never say a cuss word again.  OK well that is probably not doable.  I mean I grew up in a house that cussed, my friends cussed, even my teachers cussed.  It's just another way of expressing how mad you are.  Maybe I could say, "Navigate" the world of alternative curse words!  Expand my adjectives for a snotty person.  Rather than calling someone an A-hole today, I did say to them, "Smegma in your face, dummy!"  :) 

Those are my resolutions.  I wonder how many of them I'll actually accomplish.  I do have another one but that's the same one that millions of people have.  Exercise more.  So I didn't want to waste my "E" on that one.  I'll just make that a lifestyle choice rather than a resolution.

Good luck with yours and wish me luck cause I'm gonna need it. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Years Resolution

Well.  Hello friends.  (Hi Stef!)  Hopefully I'm back forever and ever.  I know the number one cardinal sin of bloggers is not to leave your blog feed empty for weeks on end.  But seriously... some people have 8-5 jobs.  And big families.  And live where it's cold and dark for a few months a year.  People like me.


So, hereby I declare, and resolve to post in my blog a few times a week.  Which will be much easier than my OTHER new years resolution:  To stop swearing so much.  For reals people.  I'd make a sailor cry.  All of us girls would.  Ef this and Ef that S.  Effin B.  etc.  So far I've quoted a cuss word and accidentally let one slip earlier today, but I think I'm doing good.  EFFING A!  (just kidding.)

Anyway, Happy New year.  We're super busy around here.  We have some serious activities to keep the darkness at bay.  All day Sunday is devoted to Church and family.  Monday and Wednesday we work until 5, make dinner and play an average of 6 volleyball games in "old people" volleyball league.  Which happens to be the MOST FUN thing EVER.  Seriously...  we laugh and laugh and play and sweat.  It's awesome.  Tuesday and Thursday: work, then a simple dinner because we have intensive Zumba at 8:00 pm at the Church.  After that we usually Sauna after Zumba, cause my husband loves me and built me a traditional sauna behind the house.  Friday we work, dinner, then some school event that's happening for one of the kids.  Saturday we have to clean up cause if you didn't notice there isn't any room for "cleaning" in that weekly list!  I hate cleaning.


I feel like I'm non verbally blogging through instagram anyway.  If you want to hang out with this Eskimo, you can check me out there under "finnskimo."  (Catchy name, huh?!)  That and the dreaded time consumer, Facebook.  


Hopefully I'll be back at least a few times a week.  Have a great new 2013!